Santorin and Holyphoenix headline new EU Challenger squad
A new Challenger team assembled in Europe this past month, bringing together five veterans from across Europe and Turkey.
Team Huma is the newest Challenger squad competing to qualify for the European Challenger Series. Spaniard Jorge "Werlyb" Casanovas, who competed in the League Championship Series (LCS) with GIANTS! Gaming over the past year, will play in the team's top lane. He also previously qualified with GIANTS! in the LCS Expansion tournament in Dec. 2014.
But the team’s most notable player is in the jungle. Lucas “Santorin” Larsen has joined the squad after leaving Team SoloMid in October. Not long after SoloMid failed to make it out of groups at Worlds, Larsen declared residency in North America—meaning that he will take an import slot in Europe. Larsen was in negotiations with NALCS teams during the off-season but ultimately signed with Huma instead.
In the mid lane, the team has recruited Dan "GodBro" Van Vo, who's played for multiple teams in the Challenger scene, Ninjas in Pyjamas, SK Gaming Prime, and, most recently, Ex Nihilo. Meanwhile, Former Dark Passage and HWA Gaming marksman Anıl "HolyPhoenix" Işık holds down the AD carry role, while former Copenhagen Wolves Christophe "je suis kaas" van Oudheusden is its support. These two will likely be one of the stronger bottom lanes in the European Challenger scene in 2016.
“My goal was to play in LCS for 1-2 years and I wanna be the first Turkish player who goes to the EULCS,” Işık told the Daily Dot. “The roster seemed to be really strong so I felt like this is my chance to get to LCS. And since I want it so much I am willing to work harder and reach my goal.”
The organization, owned by investor Behdad “Behi” Jaafarian, also has former Team Coast and Final Five manager Nicole Manning as its general manager, while former Copenhagen Wolves head coach Karl “Dentist” Krey will be its player manager. Coach Matthew Kang and analyst Daniel Rhee round out the support staff.
For now, the team, combining some of the best available free agents in Europe, is likely a favorite for the next split.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf